Aircraft owners living in and flying to Florida just came a little closer to achieving important revisions to the Florida tax code. On April 27, H.B. 51 passed the Florida state house of representatives. The vote was 113 to 4.
The bill would grant a 21-day reprieve from the current six-percent state sales tax on out-of-state owners of new (less than six months) aircraft visiting Florida. Currently, aircraft owners can be taxed from the time they first arrive in Florida no matter how long their stay.
For Florida residents, the bill would reduce the state sales tax from six to three percent.
AOPA and the Florida Trades Association were instrumental in lobbying for the bill’s passage. The next step is a vote by the Florida state senate, which is considering a similar bill—but one that does not contain the tax reduction for Florida residents. The state’s budget problems make Senate passage a tough sell, as that body has been very resistant to any tax relief measures in recent years. If a bill does win Senate approval, it’s hoped that a conference committee consisting of House and Senate members can come up with a satisfactory compromise.
Greg Pecoraro, AOPA’s vice president of airports and state advocacy, credited member activism for a large part of the House bill’s passage.
“There’s no question that targeted AOPA member action is a critical component of our advocacy efforts. We want to thank our members for taking action when we send out our action messages via e-mail because although we work very hard to reach out to legislators, it is crucial for them to hear from the people they represent.” Pecoraro said.